Geithner: I Don't Get Why Wall Street's So Sensitive

Anger at Obama is "inexplicable," Treasury secretary says

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Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner says it's "inexplicable" that Wall Street has turned on President Obama since the financial crisis in 2008, The Atlantic's Derek Thompson reports. Geithner was talking to Atlantic editor James Bennet at the Washington Ideas Forum, and said he sympathize with people angry at Wall Street. Angry Wall Streeters, less so. Talking Points Memo's Brian Beutler notices that Geithner says Wall Street resents the administration because it feels vulnerable. He quotes Geithner saying:

I think it's inexplicable. They -- people resent when they need help. It's a natural thing. ...
They resent the huge amount of public anger they've been subjected to because they caused the crisis -- they sometimes claim, they think it was created by us, which I think is a deeply unfair judgment. And they react to what is pretty modest, common-sense observations about the system as if they're deep affronts to the dignity of their profession.
And I don't understand why they're so sensitive. But they're very wounded, and they've seen a huge amount of damage to peoples' confidence in their capacity to not just manage risk and to meet the needs of their customers, but in the broader public consciousness. And they'd like us to heal that for them, and they ask me all the time, Why can't you heal that for us? And I say to them, i think reasonably, that's something you've got to earn back yourself. We can't do that for you.
Video from Geithner's conversation with The Atlantic editor James Bennet is available here.
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